Some patients seek orthodontic treatment purely for cosmetic reasons, while others may require teeth straightening to avoid dental problems. Whether you have slightly crooked teeth or a significantly malformed bite, braces and Invisalign® are reliable solutions for producing a permanently straighter smile.
For our patients in the Troy area, we wish to communicate how braces and Invisalign® can benefit patients of any age suffering from misalignment problems. Let’s examine who is best suited for these procedures.
When Should Patients Receive Braces?
There are generally two types of patients who get braces: people looking to make minor alignment adjustments to their teeth for aesthetic reasons, and people who need to correct more structurally important alignment issues.
Those who opt to have braces for cosmetic reasons tend to have a shorter procedural timeline, and may begin treatment at their convenience. Patients who require braces to fix severely crooked teeth or bites should begin treatment upon their dentist’s recommendation, as prolonged misalignment can lead to an increased risk of decay, gum injury, discomfort, and jaw disorders.
Once a child begins growing his or her adult teeth, it is a good idea to have their alignment assessed by a dentist or orthodontist. If braces are recommended, treatment can begin once a majority of the baby teeth have been lost and adult teeth have grown in - usually between eight and 14 years of age. And remember: as long as you still have your teeth, you’re not too old for braces!
Candidacy for Braces
Virtually any patient is a candidate for braces, provided they have a majority of their adult teeth and are in good dental health. If cavities and advanced gum disease are present, they will need to be dealt with before orthodontic treatment can begin. However, once a patient is ready, he or she may have the following problems corrected through teeth straightening:
- Crooked teeth
- Crowded teeth
- Twisted or protruding teeth
- Vertical misalignment (open or deep bites)
While some problems may be more complex and pressing than others, a skilled orthodontist or cosmetic dentist can shift teeth into proper alignment.
Braces vs. Invisalign®
As an alternative teeth straightening procedure, we offer the Invisalign® method for qualifying patients. This is a popular way of straightening a patient’s teeth through removal invisible aligners, as opposed to traditional braces. For many patients, both techniques can produce similar results within the same timeframe.
However, there are certain advantages to braces that make them the better option for certain patients. The following orthodontic problems are still best solved through braces:
- A crossbite is when some teeth are pointed more inward or outward than the teeth opposite them. Due to the limits of Invisalign® treatment, patients with acute crossbites are prime candidates for braces.
- Open bites and deep bites are vertical malocclusions; when some teeth are higher or lower than others. Some Invisalign® patients have found success with moderate open or deep bites. However, braces are considered a more dependable and effective method of correction.
- Severely rotated teeth are also best treated with braces, as alternative treatments cannot maneuver individual teeth to the same degree.
If you have crooked teeth, consider one of our teeth straightening procedures to improve your appearance, comfort, and hygiene. Contact our office to set up an appointment with Dr. Kelley and learn if braces or Invisalign® can help you achieve long lasting, stunning results.